TopLaxRecruits.com, Posted 7/24/13
From Press Release
Longtime Brother Rice (MI) assistant Ajay Chawla (Class of 1993) was named Tuesday as the head boys’ lacrosse coach to replace Hall of Famer Rob Ambrose.
Athletic Director Reg Cavender made the announcement just a week after the retirement of Ambrose, who led Brother Rice to 16 of the last 18 state titles and the last 11 crowns,
“We had a number of quality candidates and we were not going to rush the hire, but it was pretty obvious that the right guy was already here on our staff,” said Cavender. “Trying to replace a coach like Rob is a monumental task, but Ajay has the full support of the administration, the lacrosse families and our Alumni.”
Coach Chawla was very happy when he got the news.
“There is something special about being able to coach at your Alma Mater,” he said. “When Reg offered me the chance to succeed Rob I was very humbled and honored.
“It’s a huge task to follow a friend and mentor like Rob, but this really is a dream come true. There is something special about Brother Rice and The Band of Brothers. I’m blessed to be here.”
One of the main reasons Chawla was selected was for his reputation as a leader in the community and the academic demands he placed on his JV and Varsity B players for the last 11 years.
“We have 100% confidence in him to be a leader for our young men and to ensure that they are challenged to meet our high athletic, but more importantly, academic standards,” said Cavender.
Since 2010 the Michigan Scholastic Lacrosse Coaches Association has given out Academic All-State awards, and every one of Coach Ambrose’s teams has been recognized for their work in the classroom.
Ambrose is happy to see Chawla take over the program and to continue with the culture and traditions.
“They got the right guy, that’s for sure,” Ambrose said. “He doesn’t just get the culture around here, he helped create it. The results, the trophies and the titles have been a team effort and he’s been a part of shaping it for years. The tradition of excellence and the goals the boys set, that comes from our culture and our Alumni. That comes from guys like Ajay.”
Chawla is a ’93 graduate of Brother Rice where he was a standout defenseman on the lacrosse team. He went on to play three years of NCAA lacrosse at Division III Marymount, a Catholic University in suburban Arlington, Virginia. He returned home in 1997 to finish his degree at Wayne State and start his career.
Chawla currently lives in Troy with his wife Julie and daughter Alexandra. He is the owner and CEO of CS Fasteners as well as a Strategic Accounts Manager for SourceHOV.
Chawla is known as much for his work in the community as he is in lacrosse. A co-founder of Toast for Tykes in 1999, the charity has raised over $700,000 for pediatric causes across Michigan including: Michigan Epilepsy Foundation, Camp Sponsorship’s, Children’s Hospital of Michigan, U of M Burn and Trauma Center, Kids Kicking Cancer and many more.
He was recently named one of Oakland County’s Elite 40 Under 40 and sits on the planning committee for Sparky Anderson’s CATCH Charity for Children.
Brother Rice Principal, Brother Michael Segvich, CFC said, “We are lucky that Alumni like Ajay always want to come back and pay it forward to the next generation of students. He’s been very demanding of his players on the field and in the classroom for years and we expect that to continue in his new role.
“He’s a tremendous role model for the kids through his leadership in the business community and his philanthropic work.”
Cavender added, “We knew right away who the ‘plan A’ guy was in Ajay. We were lucky that he said yes and we didn’t have to figure out who ‘plan B’ would have been. The list of Warriors coaching in lacrosse and what they have accomplished is impressive and I’m sure it would have given us several quality people to talk to.”
Part of the culture in Brother Rice lacrosse is to grow the game and give back to the community. Because of this there are a number of Brother Rice grads making The Warrior Difference in their communities.
Chawla will start working on assembling his 2014 staff immediately and there is one coach he can’t live without.
“Mike Walker (’92) will continue to be the Varsity B Coach and assist me on the direction of the program,” said Chawla. “Mike has been a teammate and one of my best friends since 1989. He’s been a guiding force for Brother Rice Lacrosse for years and I can’t imagine this program’s success will continue without his support.”
“Just because Rob’s gone the expectations won’t change. The boys are the ones that set the programs goals. Mike and I are here to make sure they have the support to reach them.”
Brother Rice High School is a Catholic, college preparatory school for young men. Inspired by the Essential Elements of a Christian Brother Education, the school fosters the spiritual, intellectual, cultural and physical development of its students. The Brother Rice Community promotes excellence through an environment conducive to life-long personal growth, responsible moral choices and critical thinking.